The Mountlake Terrace City Council on Tuesday sent a letter to the business manager of the former Greenview Apartments, located at 21408 52nd Ave. W., requesting that the building ownership give tenants more time to move out prior to a planned renovation of the 1960s-era building.
The letter was approved by the Mountlake Terrace City Council during its Monday business meeting, and followed a discussion the council had at last Thursday’s work/study session after learning that the Greenview Apartments had been sold to new owners. Following the building’s sale, a majority of apartment residents received notice June 7 that their tenancy was being terminated, and they would need to move within 20 days since major building renovations were planned.
Several tenants of the complex, which was renamed Capri Apartments after the sale, appeared before the council Monday night to describe the hardship the sudden lease termination had placed on many of its residents.
Toni Lopez said she has lived in the apartments for 14 years. Lopez, who is recovering from spinal surgery, said that receiving the notice to leave within 20 days “was just shocking.”
Sherry Sundstrom, a 17-year resident, said that some of those living in the apartment complex are disabled and elderly, and it will be difficult for them to move — especially in 20 days.
She and others also noted that the rents for the renovated apartments are predicted to double. They expressed worries that more affordable housing will be lost as light rail comes to the city in 2024 and makes Mountlake Terrace a more desirable place to live.
Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright, who is active in issues related to affordable housing, was sympathetic to the plight of the tenants, but admitted there wasn’t anything the city could do legally to stop the process. State law currently requires 20 days notice, although a bill just approved in the 2019 state Legislature — going into effect in July — would require at least 120 days of notice if a unit is undergoing demolition, major rehabilitation, or change in the building’s use.
The council’s letter to Capri Apartments Business Manager Devin Perrotta — signed by Mayor Matsumoto Wright on the council’s behalf — asks that the new ownership group, Mountlake Terrace Investors, “extend the termination notices provided to residents June 7 by 30 days.”
“Community values are important in Mountlake Terrace and while we respect private property rights, we encourage everyone to work together to make our city a harmonious place to live and do business,” the letter continued. The council recognizes that the new owners are following state law regarding the 20-day notice period, and the city also appreciates the investment planned for the complex, the letter added.
“Housing and the well-being of our residents is a high priority of our city council and the city is working hard to provide more housing options. It is a difficult market to locate housing even with careful planning and funds set aside and according, our city council hopes you would take that into consideration and work with the residents to extend the time an additional 30 days to find new housing,” the letter said.
In an email to MLTnews Tuesday, Perrotta said he would have no comment on whether the apartment owners would accommodate the city’s request.
In other action Tuesday night, the council:
– held a public hearing and adopted a resolution related to a periodic update of the City of Mountlake Terrace’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP).
– recognized MLTnews Founder Dustin Dekoekkoek and current Publisher Teresa Wippel in honor of the publication’s 10th anniversary.
— By Teresa Wippel